Washington Metro Retires the 2000-series Subway Cars:

On May 10, Washington Metro retired its 2000-series subway cars. These train cars were introduced in the early 1980s, are past their useful life. Metro trains are built to last generally around 40 years or so. Reliability has decreased over the years and parts are getting harder to procure.

The goal is to remove the aging trains that have more maintenance issues, leaving a more reliable fleet of newer vehicles resulting in fewer offloads and delays. The 2000-series had issues nearly four times as often as our newer 7000-series trains.

The trains operated nearly 200 million miles and carried more than 775 million passengers

“These 76 train cars helped move millions of people across the Capital region for decades and we thank them for their faithful service over the years,” said Metro General Manager and CEO Randy Clarke. “We recognize the rich history of these cars and they have certainly earned this well-deserved retirement. However, this will give riders a better experience and make way for the Fleet of the Future.”

The removal of the 2000-series also marks the end of an era for Metro: carpet will no longer be on any of our trains.


The 2000-series trains debuted in 1983 and gave Metro enough trains to begin service to Huntington and Fairfax County for the first time. 

They were manufactured by Breda in Italy and then assembled in Beech Grove, Indiana. Their arrival was delayed about two years due to a factory breakdown in West Germany and a labor strike in a Wilmerding, Pennsylvania, brake factory.

While the train looked similar to the older 1000-series, they included new features like flip-dot destination signs instead of mylar roll signs that often malfunctioned, exterior speakers for announcements, and a dozen fewer seats than the 1000-series to allow more customers per train.

In the early 2000s, the trains went through a mid-life rehabilitation replacing propulsion systems, adding new exterior and interior LED signs, and updating the seats with a new color motif: Colonial Burgundy, Potomac Blue, and Chesapeake Sand.

The trains were largely in storage during the pandemic but were used in recent years while Metro addressed issues with the other fleet series.

Moving forward

In the coming months, the cars will be decommissioned and Metro will remove safety-sensitive parts and hazardous materials.

Two of the 76 train cars will be saved for preservation as part of Metro’s history. Two others are used as part of Metro’s money train that collects cash from fare machines around the system.

Metro’s long-term fleet strategy calls for phasing out the 3000-series trains starting in 2027. At the same time, Metro will start to introduce the first of at least 256 new 8000-series Fleet of the Future train cars. The remaining fleet will be made up of 6000-series (with the classic brown stripe motif), and newer 7000-series, and 8000-series trains.

Until the 8000-series arrive, Metro will still have enough trains to accommodate current peak ridership and even up to 33% more ridership growth before sustained crowding. 

Metro retired the 1000-series in 2016 and 2017, the 4000-series in 2017, and the 5000-series in 2018 and 2019. 

-via Press Release

This article was posted on: May 20, 2024